Queen Elizabeth has released a statement confirming she has given her blessing to grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepping down as senior royals. But in a surprising move from official royal correspondence, the Sussexes are referred to as 'Harry and Meghan' in the literature, and not 'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex' as they usually would.
Whether this means the couple are set to lose their royal titles or not remains unclear, but it is certainly an unusual stray from typical royal behaviour.
The statement was released by Buckingham Palace this afternoon following the 'Sandringham summit', where Queen Elizabeth sat down with Prince Harry, Prince Charles, and Prince William to discuss her grandson and his family's future. It reads:
"Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family. My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family."
It continues: "Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days."
The consistent use of "Harry and Meghan" as opposed to "TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex" is unprecedented.
The couple were given their titles on their wedding day, in May 2018, when Meghan was formally admitted into the royal family. The Sussexes branding of their brand new website is all based around the name 'Sussex Royal', and they have even recently copyrighted the name. It doesn't appear that it's in Harry and Meghan's plans to lose their Duke and Duchess titles, but it may be a compromise the Queen is insisting on if Harry no longer wants to be a full-time working royal.
Currently, Meghan Markle is in Canada, flying back last week to reunite with eight-month-old Archie who remained in the country while his parents returned to London to break the news of their plans to step down. It's thought that Prince Harry will join his family in Canada soon, but not before the complex issue of his family's future is sorted out back home.
Follow Cat on Twitter.
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like